Those cropping mallows near a shrub, And broom-roots is their food.
Job 30:4 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Who cut up mallows by the bushes - מלוח malluach, which we translate mallows, comes from מלח melach, salt; some herb or shrub of a salt nature, sea-purslane, or the salsaria, salsola, or saltwort. Bochart says it is the ἁλιμος of the Greeks, and the halimus of the Romans. Some translate it nettles. The Syriac and Arabic omit the whole verse. The halimus, or atriplex halimus, grows near the sea in different countries, and is found in Spain, America, England, and Barbary. The salsaria, salsola, or saltwort, is an extensive genus of plants, several common to Asia, and not a few indigenous to a dry and sandy soil.
And juniper roots for their meat - רתמים rethamim. This is variously translated juniper, broom, furze, gorse, or whin. It is supposed to derive its name from the toughness of its twigs, as רתם ratham signifies to bind; and this answers well enough to the broom. Genista quoque vinculi usum praestat, "The broom serves for bands," says Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. xxiv., c. 9. But how can it be said that the roots of this shrub were eaten? I do not find any evidence from Asiatic writers that the roots of the juniper tree were an article of food; and some have supposed, because of this want of evidence, that the word לחמם lachmam, for their bread, should be understood thus, to bake their bread, because it is well known that the wood of the juniper gives an intense heat, and the coals of it endure a long time; and therefore we find coals of juniper, גחלי רחמים gachaley rethamim, used Psalm 120:4 to express severe and enduring punishment. But that the roots of the juniper were used for food in the northern countries, among the Goths, we have a positive testimony from Olaus Magnus, himself a Goth, and archbishop of Upsal, in lib. vii., c. 4, of his Hist. de Gentibus Septentrionalibus. Speaking of the great number of different trees in their woods, he says: "There is a great plenty of beech trees in all the northern parts, the virtue whereof is this: that, being cut between the bark and the wood, they send forth a juice that is good for drink. The fruit of them in famine serves for bread, and their bark for clothing. Likewise also the berries of the juniper, yea, even the roots of this tree are eaten for bread, as holy Job testifies, though it is difficult to come at them by reason of their prickles: in these prickles, or thorns, live coals will last a whole year. If the inhabitants do not quench them, when winds arise they set the woods on fire, and destroy all the circumjacent fields." In this account both the properties of the juniper tree, referred to by Job and David, are mentioned by the Gothic prelate. They use its berries and roots for food, and its wood for fire.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
mallows (The Hebrew malluach, in Arabic, malluch and in Syriac mallucho, is probably the halimus of the Romans, which Dioscorides describes as a kind of bramble, without thorns, the leaves of which are boiled and eaten.)
juniper roots (The Hebrew rothem, in Arabic, ratim, and in Spanish, retama, most probably signifies the genista or broom, which is very abundant in the deserts of Arabia.)
for their meat
2 Kings 4:38,39 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him...
Amos 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdsman...
Luke 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave to him.
Job 30:4 Parallel CommentariesBroom Brush Brushwood Bushes Cut Food Gather Gathered Herbs Juniper Leaves Making Mallows Meal Meat Pick Pluck Pulling Root Roots Salt Shrub Themselves Tree Warm WormwoodBroom Brush Brushwood Bushes Cut Food Gather Gathered Herbs Juniper Leaves Making Mallows Meal Meat Pick Pluck Pulling Root Roots Salt Shrub Themselves Tree Warm WormwoodTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
Job 30:4 Mobile Bible
Job 30:4 Bible Suite
Job 30:4 Biblia Paralela
Job 30:4 Chinese Bible